Marathon Oil expands Eagle Ford position, unloads Angola stake

Marathon Oil Corp. is selling off its stake in a second offshore block in southwest Africa and picking up acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the company announced Tuesday.

Marathon is selling its 10 percent stake in Block 32 to Angolan state oil company Sonangol for roughly $590 million. Separately, the Eagle Ford deal adds 4,800 net acres to Marathon’s South Texas portfolio for $97 million.

The developments came as the Houston-based exploration and production firm continues to overhaul its portfolio in an effort to drive profits and reward shareholders.

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The company has now completed or agreed to divestitures totaling roughly $3.5 billion, exceeding its goal of shedding up to $3 billion in assets. It announced the plan in 2011 following the spinoff of its refining arm.

The company hinted that it may not be done rearranging its portfolio.

“We continue to evaluate our portfolio for high-grading opportunities and expect that process to remain evergreen and integral to our forward business plans,” CEO Lee Tillman said in a statement.

Marathon also announced Tuesday that it is nearing completion of the first stage of a $1 billion share repurchaseMarathon expects to complete the second $500 million phase after closing the sale of its 10 percent stake in Block 31 offshore Angola in the fourth quarter.

Angola Oil

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